Army using Chiadzwa as cash cow

bitiHarare - The Zimbabwe National Army is using the funds which it gets from guarding Chiadzwa diamond fields to procure food rations, uniforms and for training programmes claiming treasury was not giving it enough money. (Pictured: Tendai Biti Army vows to stay put at Chiadzwa to raise money to buy foo

A highly placed source at Army Headquarters told The Zimbabwean that this ruled out the withdrawal of soldiers from the diamond fields anytime soon. The army is spearheading operation Hakudzokwi (you will not return) at the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields to allegedly curb illegal mining of the precious mineral. He said Army top officials were accusing Finance Minister Tendai Biti of not giving them enough budget for their operations, hence the refusal to withdraw soldiers from Chiadzwa which is now the armys cash cow.

What has been agreed upon at headquarters was that until such a time the Ministry of Finance gives us enough funds to sustain our operations, soldiers will continue to guard Chiadzwa. At the moment we are managing to buy food rations, uniforms for our staff and extra funds for our routine trainings direct from Chiadzwa,said the official based at the Army headquarters, but declined to be named.

Recently government said soldiers were going to be withdraw from the Chiadzwa diamond fields following an outcry by human rights organisations that the army was responsible for killing civilians who were searching for diamonds. The official added that soldiers now can afford three meals a day at their barracks because of the money they are getting for their services at Chiadzwa

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